'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' Review By Bawnian©-Dexeus

Dragon Fire. When did we let evil grow stronger than us? The journey of Sindarin Erebor's heroes continues!
  • OVERALL
    4.0
    GREAT
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a 2013 fantasy action adventure film.

Directed by: Peter Jackson.

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Manu Bennett Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O'Gorman, Aiden Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown and Benedict C*mberbatch as Smaug.

The second part of Jackson's expanded universe to one of Tolkien's most beloved books continues exactly where it left off. Not without a flashback of sorts that sheds some light on the first film's commencement. Before Gandalf and the group of Dwarves arrived to Bilbo's house, the movie opens to a conversation between our wizard and Thorin Oakenshield that leads the audience into the promised adventure of The Lonely Mountain and the terror that awaits beneath it. We then cut back to our heroes as they most recently escaped the claws of Azog the albino Goblin, The Defiler(Bennett). Who are these brave wandering folk I speak of ? Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Ori and a partridge in a pear tree.

Yes, they are continuing their journey to take back what was taken from them from a giant lizard with an eye for riches. As they travel, we manage to seem some character evolution much anticipated in sequels. Martin Freeman now has the opportunity to illustrate his character's transformation upon obtaining the One Ring that rules them all. In a well executed scene between the group and a horde of bull sized spiders, Bilbo takes advantage of his new found power and we also see how the ring takes supremacy over his feeble mind. He becomes violent and desperate for his precious to the point where he can't believe it himself. Sure, there are a couple of times where he comes off as a twit, but you can see a further change in his persona since the last movie. Thorin progresses as well as he begins to think more like a king and less like a Dwarf lost in in a nest of death. Still, when the balance of his men and true kingdom are in the balance, he'll contemplate selfish reasoning to reign supreme. As we learned in the An Unexpected Journey, he who gains the Arkenstone reclaims their rightful seat in the throne under the Lonely Mountain. We can only hope Thanos doesn't get it first.

As our main characters improve, we get to see a batch of new faces and familiar ones too. Yes indeed the badass Elf archer himself, Legolas (Bloom) returns to Middle Earth. Though factually not part of the original story, him being part of this trilogy simply strengthens the quality of it all. He's never looked better and that's saying a lot. Considering he's basically flawless with an bow and arrow, we get to see an entirely new side to him. He's far more detached from the world and has some vulnerable moments never seen before. We meet his father the Elf King Thranduil (Pace) whom you might remember from the intro to the first Hobbit film. His personality makes it clear why Dwarves hate Elves, but it is also about the decisions he's made against them and the outside world. He's also one of the most beautiful looking character in the series.

I'll come out and say it, the Elves in the Tolkien universe are angels incarnate, which leads me to Lady Tauriel (Lilly). Tauriel is the newest creation to Middle Earth that makes Robin Hood, Hawkeye and Katniss Everdeen seem like kids in training wheels, even Legolas. Her aim is as true as the beauty she graces the stage with. The plot grows stronger with her and also hints a subtle romance between with that of Dwarf Kili. Though one could question that union, it's quite funny. I recall when these movies were still in production that Martin Freeman toyed around with the idea of Hobbits interacting in coitus. Peter Jackson has managed to easily blend all these amazing looking characters. Elves, Dwarves, Man, Wizards, and Goblins into this fantastical universe the likes of which Marvel should have done with Thor. As far as Wizards are concerned, Gandalf the Grey finally unleashes what he's made of. You know, MAGIC! The realm of the Necromancer seeds the idea of the Dark One's return, too.

You can tell that time and effort has been put into crafting these majestic adventures. The visuals are just out of this world and they should be. There are parts where the effects seem obvious or unfinished. Sometimes artificial lighting doesn't blend well with bright animate objects that look painfully cheap, in a way. The outside of Sindarin Erebor is breathtaking as well as the dark green mines inside. Hard to believe it was crafted by creatures half out size. Unfortunately I didn't get to see HFR even though I went to an IMAX screening.

Now Desolation of Smaug isn't perfect by any stretch of the Tolkien imagination. What was being accomplished with Tauriel and Kili felt like it was missing more development. Some moments actually slow down the pacing and overall goal of the plot. We meet Bard the Bowman (Evans), the first human we get to see in Middle Earth who comes off as a brawny version of Legolas. His people lived together in Dale, near Erebor until the day Smaug burned it all to the ground. We wonder through Laketown, but it is at this part of the story that I was close to a snooze fest. Don't get me wrong, the more I see from Middle Earth, the better and this place does transfer to There and Back Again (which we'll see next year).

Finally (the moment you've been waiting for) Smaug. Have you ever wondered why in the world a dragon, of all things, would ever need to invade a Dwarf kingdom, steal and live inside a near limitless pile of riches? Wouldn't be surprised if Smaug was inspired by Bearded Dragons whom have an attraction for shiny things. Trâgu,The Golden,The Magnificent, Dragon of Erebor. This character is the only reason why I spent the extra coin. How was it that Bilbo described him? "Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of your enormity, O Smaug the Stupendous...". These words just don't do him justice. He's like the Godzilla of dragons. Smaug is basically the love child of Sean Connery's Draco and the dragon from Reign of Fire. If you combine Darth Vader's voice with that of Draco, you also get Smaug. I have never seen such a magnanimous execution of a character I don't know anything about and yet be able to acknowledge more than I could have if I had read the source material. His design is flawless as well as the voice casting. Benedict C*mberbatch just makes this beast that much more dangerous. His scenes make the last 20-30 minutes of the film seem flawlessly. When the scene cut to black, all I could say was:

"Well played Peter Jackson, well played."

Overall, The Desolation of Smaug is bigger, literally. It has some problems here and there, but overall it is a welcomed addition into this universe Peter Jackson has managed to father for the past twelve years.

Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.

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Comments (29)

  1. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @julianroman Thank you. All is well my friend.

    @ghostman Good. Ah, sucks.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  2. Ghostman

    @bawnian-dexeus Just saw it today, really good movie, enjoyed it more than An Unexpected Journey.

    P.S. My showing had no Godzilla trailer attached to it :'(

    11 months agoby @ghostmanFlag

  3. Julian Roman

    @bawnian-dexeus, excellent review dude! Hope all is well.

    11 months agoby @julianromanFlag

  4. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @corey Thanks. I'll be sure to check yours out.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  5. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @brady1138 Not sure. I simply copy pasted before and it just rearranged them. Could be because of "official status", but not really sure. Like I said, it just happens.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  6. LuxoIII

    @bawnian-dexeus So does it just do that for official reviews?

    11 months agoby @brady1138Flag

  7. Corey W.

    Good stuff! Maybe I'll write a review.

    11 months agoby @coreyFlag

  8. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @brady1138 Thanks for the read.

    The users? It just happens.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  9. LuxoIII

    @bawnian-dexeus Btw, how do you tag all those users like that?

    11 months agoby @brady1138Flag

  10. LuxoIII

    Fantastic review! I definitely agree with pretty much everything you have to say!

    11 months agoby @brady1138Flag

  11. Ghostman

    @bawnian-dexeus The plot thickens.

    11 months agoby @ghostmanFlag

  12. Mieko_Siede

    @mr-k Right now my publisher has me contracted on a couple of projects for other authors. One of them is a children's book, currently untitled. It's a Native American mythology about a warrior who takes a place in a cave to live out his days warding off evil spirits until the next young boy is chosen to take his place. It was pretty interesting the little bit of it that I did read. I'm also doing a couple of book covers, one of them is a fantasy book entitled, Revenge From Mars (not the planet, the mythical deity). It follows a Roman soldier that awakens on the battle field after war the only survivor and is taken by the war god Mars. And other than that I'm getting back to doing some edits on my own work and rewrites.

    11 months agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  13. Mr.K

    @mieko-siede Just go to my profile to look into my reviews, just in case. So, what illustrations are you working on?

    11 months agoby @mr-kFlag

  14. Mieko_Siede

    @mr-k Sounds like you've been keeping busy. I love the Ultimate Cut of the movie Watchmen. I may watch that again at some point this weekend. I've just been finishing up a few things. The first book of my new fantasy series is debuting in February. With things progressing as well as they are with the publisher the release date may be moved up. That aside, I've been working on some illustrations for some other projects I'm contracted for.

    I'll look out for your reviews.

    11 months agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  15. Mr.K

    @mieko-siede Just fine and dandy. Just got the Watchmen Ultimate Cut Collector's Edition with the Graphic Novel and I already finished reading the novel (I kept on reading until 1:14am), posting my 2 reviews of Wolf Children and Tokyo Godfathers, working on the reviews for Chucky: The Complete Collection, No Country For Old Men, etc and just finding some comics for me and my friend to do some voice-work if they would let us.

    11 months agoby @mr-kFlag

  16. Mieko_Siede

    @bawnian-dexeus I'd say you did.

    11 months agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  17. Mieko_Siede

    @mr-k Ah yes, it has been a long time. I've been okay. How's everything on your end?

    11 months agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  18. Mr.K

    @mieko-siede Haven't seen you in a while. How's it going?

    11 months agoby @mr-kFlag

  19. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @ghostman Nah. My heart goes to another. A story for another time.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  20. Mr.K

    @bawnian-dexeus Thanks. I'm also gonna watch The Book Thief first before watching Hobbit.

    11 months agoby @mr-kFlag

  21. Ghostman

    @bawnian-dexeus Lucky bastard. I hope things go well with you and this beauty in the future.

    11 months agoby @ghostmanFlag

  22. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @mr-k@thedude-abides Thank you. Hope you enjoy those as well.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  23. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @ghostman Lol, no. Just a girl at Walgreens with an amazing body.

    @mieko-siede Indeed it is. Got two for the price of one today.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  24. Ghostman

    @bawnian-dexeus Did the woman happen to be your wife?

    11 months agoby @ghostmanFlag

  25. Mieko_Siede

    @bawnian-dexeus Haha! It's always a highlight when a beauty captivates you enough to make time stand still isn't it.

    11 months agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  26. Mr.K

    @bawnian-dexeus Nice review! Seeing this in 3D tomorrow.

    11 months agoby @mr-kFlag

  27. thedude-abides

    @PRHM2QJQKKjELQ Lol @#3.

    Great review, man. I look forward to checking this one out sometime next week. I've been really busy with work and with early screenings of Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, and American Hustle, the latter of which I'll be seeing monday.

    Anyway, your excitement for this one has me looking forward to seeing it. I wasn't too happy with An Unexpected Journey, but all accounts are that this one is much better.

    11 months agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  28. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    A few things...

    1. Saw the trailer for Spiderman 2 in 3D. Wasn't impressed with that dimension either. Will stick to 2D.

    2. Saw the trailer for Godzilla in IMAX. ERMAHGERD!!!!! His roar did not need added special environment enhancement to vibrate my body in awesome quivering excitement.

    3. Upon returning home, I came across a woman whose face was rather cute. However, she had the most amazing looking body I have had the pleasure of drinking with my eyes in all the nine realms.

    That's all.

    @daveactor7@bryanyentz@skywise@thomasclarke@narrator@ROFLitschristian@ghostman@mr-k@john-m@diaigma@kguy@thedude-abides@XxNickTheFilmCriticXx@mieko-siede@slysnide@moviemaniac66@corey

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag